Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Christian Teaching Banned; Wiccans OK

Edinburgh University in Scotland has a history of Leftist nuttery -- and declining academic standards:

"Some would call it the Devil's work. Two ancient religions have locked horns in a bizarre "freedom of speech" row that is echoing around the corridors of one of Scotland's oldest academic institutions. The University of Edinburgh has granted permission to the Pagan Society to hold its annual conference - involving talks on witchcraft, pagan weddings and tribal dancing - on campus next month. Druids, heathens, shamans and witches are expected to attend what is a major event in the pagan calendar.

But the move has enraged the Christian Union, which accuses the university of double standards after banning one of its events on the "dangers" of homosexuality. Matthew Tindale, an Edinburgh-based Christian Union staff worker, claimed some faiths and beliefs appeared to be more equal than others on campus. "This seems to be a clear case of discrimination," he said. "It's okay for other religions, such as the pagans, to have their say at the university, but there appears to be a reluctance to allow Christians to do the same. All we are asking for is the tolerance that is afforded to other faiths and organisations."

The Union has won strong backing from the Catholic Church in Scotland, whose spokesman, Simon Dames, felt that allowing the pagan festival to go ahead while barring the Union meeting was an example of "Christianphobia". "This appears to be a clear case of double standards," he said. "The principles of a pluralistic democracy revolve around an acceptance of competing ideas and universities should be enshrining this principle. Anti-racism groups would never be asked to put up posters saying there are alternative views."

The row has its roots in last year's decision by university officials to ban the Christian Union from using campus premises to run a course which claimed that gay sex was morally wrong. The course was deemed to be in breach of university anti-discrimination guidelines although a compromise measure was later offered to allow the course to take place if posters offering differing views were prominently displayed. Much to the displeasure of some campus Christians and the Catholic Church, no such conditions will be attached to the pagan gathering.


Truly insane British immigration rules

Here's a quiz. Not a very good quiz because you will know the answer before you've finished reading the question. Whether you can comprehend it is another matter. An awful lot of immigrants are allowed into Britain these days and very few deported because they are undesirable. However, as a nation we must draw the line somewhere. So, using your understanding of How Britain Is, estimate which of the following four aspirant British citizens has been told to get out and stay out. And which three can stay?

1) Mouloud Sihali, Algerian. Lived at Finsbury Park mosque, breeding ground of Islamic terrorism. Described in court as "unprincipled and dishonest". Illegal immigrant.

2) Yonis Dirie, Somalian. Drug addict, armed robber and burglar. Convicted of raping a young woman in London. Illegal immigrant.

3) Tul Bahadur Pun VC, Nepalese. Won the Victoria Cross for taking out a Japanese machinegun post in 1944 in Burma single-handedly. Now 84, of unblemished conduct, suffering from heart problems and diabetes and would like treatment here. Legal applicant.

4) "AS", Libyan. Islamic extremist involved with Milan terrorist group. Court accepts that he is likely to try to kill us all again quite soon. Illegal immigrant.

You got it, didn't you? Old Pun's application was rejected because - and here's another punchline, in case the first wasn't funny enough - he "failed to demonstrate" that he had "strong ties with Britain". How much stronger do you want? There can be hardly a soul who wouldn't be happy to have Pun here. And not one who could make a case for allowing Dirie, the robber-rapist, say, to get preferential treatment. Some of us would have happily dispatched him back to Mogadishu strapped to a missile.

There is no great objection to immigration in this country; the objection is to how it is done and who benefits, exemplified by the cases I quote above. I suspect the public feels there are people who should be allowed in - people to whom we owe a profound debt of gratitude (like Pun), or those whose countries we have let down in one way or another (such as the Hong Kong Chinese or the black Zimbabweans). And yet it seems we do precisely the opposite.

Libyan and Algerian extremists who feel the regimes in their home countries are not sufficiently rigorous are allowed to stay because we worry they might be bumped off at home - regardless of what threat they pose to us. I would vote for any party that pledged to extricate us from the international legislation that insists on such absurdities. By then, however, it will most likely be too late for Tul Bahadur Pun VC. The Japs couldn't kill him - but we're not making a bad job of it.


Dangerous "Green" car

The shocking image of this tangled wreck of what was a Reva all-electric car has prompted road safety authorities to keep it off Australian roads. The wreckage of the Indian-built car is the result of a simulated crash at just 48 km/h.

The crash test dummy at the wheel of the Reva has its legs crushed, and hangs limply and exposed out of the door, its head having taken the full force of the disintegrated bonnet and windshield during the crash. Watch the crash test below:

But the man who wants Australian metropolitan commuters to go green in the Reva, says the shocking crash test has little relevance and that he knows the car is not as safe as other vehicles on our roads. Adrian Ferraretto, general manager of The Solar Shop in Adelaide, has been pushing for trials of the Reva here for years, and yesterday defended its safety record on the basis that it is allowed on roads elsewhere under the classification of a heavy quadricycle.

"We know the car's not as safe as say an S-Class Mercedes Benz or a Hummer or other passenger cars, but it has a different application," Mr Ferraretto said. "It's for low-speed city motoring. I don't think (the crash tests are) relevant. While it's not as safe as other passenger cars, it's safer than a motorbike."

The test on the Reva was conducted by UK motoring magazine Top Gear. It prompted road authorities in Britain to conduct their own crash tests and re-examine the road laws which allowed it on the roads there. Footage from the test was shown at a recent Australian Transport Council meeting of state and federal transport ministers. At the start of this month, as an outcome of that meeting, the Reva all-electric car was banned from use on Australian roads as it had failed a frontal crash test and did not comply with safety standards. An application by the West Australian Government to trial the Reva, an automatic two-door hatch, was rejected by the Australian Transport Council.

In Britain, however, the Reva - known as a G-Wiz - is classed as a heavy quadricycle and therefore has not had to meet the same safety standards as a car. Australia has no such vehicle category.


Global cooling? Britain colder than Alaska!

The Brits were widely certain that their unusually warm summer proved global warming. What now?

More than 74,000 homes across the east of England were left without electricity yesterday as wind and heavy rain brought down power lines. EDF energy said last night that it had restored power in most areas but 4,000 homes were still without electricity. The disruption came as millions of Britons shivered through the washed-out Bank Holiday, which weather forecasters had predicted.

Plummeting temperatures, gales and torrential rain persisted. Public transport was disrupted, events were cancelled and emergency services were kept busy. In Alaska temperatures hit 16C (61F) – practically balmy compared with England’s average of 11C. Parts of Siberia were warmer than High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the coldest spot in the country, where temperatures fell to 5C. The Met Office reported that the weekend was one of the wettest and coldest bank holidays for years, far below the May average of 17C.

However, indoor attractions were celebrating the bad weather. Shops and museums in London were bustling and the new 62 million Dickens World, an indoor theme park in Kent, was filled to capacity. Thames Water confirmed that the deluge had made water restrictions less likely this summer.

Seaside resorts were heavily booked by families counting on bursts of sunshine. But by Saturday afternoon all hope had evaporated. Much of England endured downpours topping 50mm (2in). St Catherine’s Point, on the Isle of Wight, had received almost 75mm since the start of the Bank Holiday. Ferries to the island were cancelled and two yachts from France had to be rescued in the Channel.

In Exeter, three teenagers who camped beside the River Exe had to be rescued after being surrounded by fast-flowing water. One of Britain’s biggest carnivals, the Luton International Festival, which was expected to attract more than 100,000 people, was cancelled.

Most of Western Europe suffered too. The weather will improve today, then it is misery again for most of the week.


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